There is only one religion, the religion of Love; There is only one language, the language of the Heart;
There is only one caste, the caste of Humanity; There is only one law, the law of Karma; There is only one God, He is Omnipresent I have come not to disturb or destroy any faith, but to confirm each in his own faithso that the Christian becomes a better Christian, the Muslim a better Muslim, and the Hindu a better Hindu” The end of education is character. The end of knowledge is love. The end of culture is perfection. The end of wisdom is freedom. Politics without principles, Education without character, Science without humanity and Commerce without morality are not only useless, but positively dangerous. Start the day with Love, Fill the day with Love, Spend the day with Love, End the day with Love. This is the way to God. Life is a challenge, meet it! Life is a dream, realise it! Life is a game, play it! Life is Love, enjoy it! Do not give room for differences based on language, religion, caste or nationality. Develop the feeling that all are children of God. You may worship God in any form of your choice, but always bear in mind that God is one. Cultivate love and promote unity and harmony among all. Each country is but a room in the mansion of GOD. Be Good, See Good, Do Good — this is the way to God. A person's well-being depends upon her/his degree of contentment. Before you speak, think - Is it necessary? Is it true? Is it kind? Will it hurt anyone? Will it improve upon the silence. Selfless service to the needy is the highest spiritual discipline.
Life Message: Baba B
hagavan Sri Sathya Sai Baba was born Sathyanarayana Raju on November 23, 1926, in Puttaparthi, Andhra Pradesh. The event and the village went unnoticed in the history and map of British India. Yet, today, Baba’s ashram in Prashanti Nilayam situated in the village of His birth has emerged as the undisputed spiritual capital of our times. Everyday, thousands of men and women from every continent, country, state, region, nationality, religion and culture arrive in Prashanti Nilayam to behold the Master whose life, message and generosity has moved them to seek personal growth and transformation. Baba’s teachings of universal love and acceptance have found their way into millions of hearts in India and abroad. In the past 70 years, several million devotees have registered at the ashram’s accommodation office. They came from every Indian state and 185 other countries. Due to the evergrowing demand for lodging, a similar number are estimated to have stayed in the township that has emerged outside the ashram. A university, schools, colleges, two large hospitals including a tertiary care facility, a planetarium, an airport and museums abound along the tree-lined streets of Prashanti Nilayam. Within the peaceful premises of the ashram, there is accommodation and other facilities for thousands of pilgrims seeking a higher purpose. That His teachings transcend all boundaries of race, religion or region is what appeals the most to His followers, whom He urges to embrace social responsibility as a way of life and seek the oneness underlying all diversity. With millions of followers, Bhagavan Sri Sathya Sai Baba has emerged as the universal teacher and humanitarian whose gospel of unconditional love expressed through selfless service, has inspired thousands of voluntary initiatives by the members of the Sai Organisation worldwide. At the heart of this unparalleled spiritual activism is the soon-tobe 85-year-old visionary who has single-handedly reformed and revitalised the system of education, steering it towards a valuebased model, redefined universal healthcare and h a r m o n i s e d spirituality with social service.
President of India Mrs. Pratibha D Patil (extreme right) and her family at Prashanti Nilayam in May 2009
Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh at the Sri Sathya Sai University’s convocation ceremony in 1995
Cricket legend Sachin Tendulkar with Bhagavan Babain 2005
Leading Indian industrialist Mr Ratan Tata with Bhagavan Baba in 2009
Education for life, the Sathya Sai way
haracter building that fosters values and camaraderie in society is often defined as the goal of education. Even as policy makers have been mulling over the ways to achieve this for decades now, the Sri Sathya Sai Education system has silently been achieving all this and much more. Universal teacher and Chancellor of the Sri Sathya Sai University, Bhagavan Sri Sathya Sai Baba says “real education is that which promotes unity, equality and peaceful co-existence with fellow human beings.” It “flows from the heart, and is termed as ‘Educare’.” Therefore, “Educare should be pursued along with worldly knowledge.” The Sai system of education is the fructification of this great vision. In a world riddled with growing intolerance between individuals, groups, and religions, it stands as a beacon of hope, fervently
AN OASIS AMIDST DESERTS
2 3 4
This Institute stands out as a crest jewel among the university education system in the country and this model is worthy of emulation by the institutes of higher learning in the country and elsewhere, so that these benefits would be reaped fast and on the widest possible scale.
The Sri Sathya Sai Drinking Water Project is a lifeline to 10 million Indians, delivered through 5,020 kilometres of pipelines.
SATHYA SAI HEALTHCARE
NAAC Committee, during its
visit to the Sai University in 2002. The peer team accredited the University at the highest level (A++) among Indian universities.
ETHICS & ECONOMICS Former RBI Governor Dr. Y V Reddy (to Baba’s right) and RBI Governor Dr. D Subba Rao (to Baba’s left) at the Sai University’s Ethics and World of Finance conference in August 2009. (Top right) Prashanti Nilayam campus
As healthcare turns commercial elsewhere, Bhagavan Baba’s hospitals are trendsetters, providing world-class treatment mixed with a dose of love and compassion — and have no cash counters.
chiseling and churning out students who aren’t just market-ready but life-ready. Based on the philosophy of Educare, and the sound pedagogy of integral education, this learning system draws its life breath from the five cardinal values
of truth, righteousness, peace, love and non-violence. Implemented in more than 90 countries now, the value-based education system is both revolutionary i n c o n c e p t a n d comprehensive in scope. What further sets it apart is
its no-tuition fee policy across the board from elementary school to PhD level programmes.
University with a difference
Ever the champion for women’s empowerment,
Baba laid the foundation of His vision by setting up His first college exclusively for women in Anantapur in 1968. Till last year, 22,000 women had received valuesbased education here. Soon to follow were two campuses
for men at Bangalore and Prashanti Nilayam. In 1981, the three campuses were coalesced into the Sri Sathya Sai Institute of Higher Learning, a deemed university. Headquartered in Prashanti Nilayam, it was elevated to the Sri Sathya Sai University in 2007.
Continnued on Page 4
SALVATION THROUGH SERVICE
Striving for human perfection through selfless service : Sai Organisation is rooted in the maxim Service to Man is Service to God.
Copious flow of selfless love
his is where we used to get our water from,” said Sitamma , pointing to a well. Branches and debris float on the surface of the muddy brown water, in a village in the Rayalaseema region — the hottest belt in Andhra Pradesh. Two decades ago, more than 50 percent of the remote villages in the drought-prone districts of Andhra Pradesh had only wells as the main source of drinking water. They not only lacked clean drinking water, but also suffered from bone and dental deformities due to excess fluoride content in groundwater. In the tribal hamlets of East and West Godavari districts of Andhra Pradesh, though the river Godavari was flowing just 15 km away from some settlements, drinking water was scarce. The story in the 320 villages of Medak and Mehboobnagar was no different. The crisis was not restricted to AP’s hinterland alone. Neighbouring Tamil Nadu was unable to meet its capital Chennai’s demands for clean and safe drinking water. The issues that deprived thousands of this life-sustaining necessity for so many years may have been numerous. Yet, true to the identity of India’s unity, 10 million Indians in Rayalaseema region and districts of Medak, Mehaboobnagar, East and West Godavari and the city of Chennai have a common factor uniting them now — the Sri Sathya Sai Drinking Water Project pipelines have become their lifelines. The seeds for the water project were sown in 1994 when Bhagavan Sri Sathya Sai Baba referred to the drinking water problem in Rayalaseema region in a discourse on November 22, 1994. At His command, the Sri Sathya Sai Central Trust executed the project to provide drinking water to 731 villages in Anantapur district. The 9th Planning Commission described the project thus: “The Sathya Sai charity has set an unparalleled initiative of implementing on their own, without any state budgetary support, a massive water supply project with an expenditure of Rs 3,000 million to benefit 731 scarcity and fluoride/salinity affected villages and a few towns in Anantapur district in 18 months”. For Bhagavan Baba, the motivation was simple. "From My earliest years, I have been
Rayalaseema should be ensured water supply all through the year. Today it is Raallaseema (a rocky region). It must be transformed into a Ratnalaseema (land that glitters as a diamond).
Bhagavan Sri Sathya Sai Baba,
announcing the Anantapur water project, November 22, 1994
Today, I have made a new resolve. Madras is suffering from acute shortage of drinking water. The rich can buy water sold by tanker service, but what are the poor to do? I have therefore decided to work towards bringing drinking water to Madras, no matter how difficult and costly the task is.
Bhagavan Baba’s promise to Chennai residents, January 19, 2002
We are executing a water project for the East and West Godavari districts. It is possible to live without food but not without water. Water is highly essential. These people live by the side of Godavari but do not have potable water.
Bhagavan Baba, announcing
the Godavari water project, December 26, 2004
SHOWERS OF LOVE (Top) The Sri Sathya Sai Drinking Water Project in Anantapur district, Andhra Pradesh, and glimpses of other water projects
concerned about providing three primary requisites for our people free education, free medical aid, and free basic amenities like drinking water. Education is for the head; medical care is for the heart; and pure water is for the body. These three cover the main requirements of life. To provide these three gives one the greatest gratification," He said.
Following the Anantapur project, came the Godavari and Medak-Mehboobnagar projects. Next, the Sri Sathya Sai Central Trust extended its drinking water services to Chennai. This involved the lining and renovation of the Kandaleru-Poondi canal and increasing the capacity of the Kandaleru reservoir. With its four major water projects, the Sri Sathya Sai Central Trust has laid a total of 5,020 km of pipelines, or one-and-a-half times the distance from Kashmir to Kanyakumari, which is a mere 3,496 km by comparison! It has also constructed enormous tanks, installed water treatment plants and placed large concrete water cisterns with taps at different places in the villages close to the houses. Completed between 1994 and 2006, the four projects provide clean drinking water to over 10 million people, or the equivalent of the entire population of Jammu and Kashmir. Explaining the efficient execution of the projects that used Indian technology, All India President of the Sri Sathya Sai Seva Organisation, Mr V Srinivasan said, "The projects were executed entirely by the SSS Central Trust and after completion, were maintained for about two years. Thereafter, they were handed over to the government free of cost… The improvement in the quality of life of the beneficiaries is unmistakable. The villagers no longer have to walk long distances to collect drinking water. Their health and incomes have improved.” After completing the projects, the Sai Organisation further launched village improvement projects in all the villages concerned by organising medical and veterinary camps, vocational training and Bal Vikas classes regularly. Given the all-round benefits to such a large segment of the population, the projects have received worldwide acclaim as models for the future and have been presented in World Water Forums. The Sai Drinking Water Projects have demonstrated that access to clean water is not a luxury, nor an act of charity, but an obligation of the global community to ensure that no Sitamma anywhere in the world is denied this right.
Water relief all the way
ANANTAPUR DRINKING WATER PROJECT
Number of villages benefitted: 731 Length of pipeline: 2,500 km Initiated: November 1994 Inaugurated: November 1995
MEDAK AND MEHABOOBNAGAR DISTRICTS
Number of villages benefitted: 320 Length of pipeline: 1,170 km Initiated: March 1999 Completed: November 2000
Benefitted: City of Chennai Total length of canal renovated: 175 km Initiated: April 2002 Completed: November 2004
EAST AND WEST GODAVARI DISTRICTS
Benefitted: about 500 villages Length of pipeline: 1,175 km Initiated: December 2004 Completed: May 2006
An antiballistic missile has been launched by Bhagavan Baba against poverty. How does this missile work against poverty? Through water, education and healthcare.
Dr APJ Kalam, Former President of India, Eminent Scientist
Sathya Sai healthcare:
Healing with love and compassion
He was barely in His twenties, when Mother Eswaramma expressed her concern about the plight of the local villagers. They were poor and succumbed easily to diseases in the remote and neglected village, Puttaparthi. For someone whose life is rooted in the affirmation, ‘Help Ever, Hurt Never’, Baba could not resist His mother’s call for altruism. Immediately, He set up the Sri Sathya Sai General Hospital, inaugurating it in 1954. Thus began the story of the Sri Sathya Sai Healthcare system, which has now expanded into a network of general hospitals, super-specialty hospitals, mobile medical hospitals, medical camps, virtual hospitals and charitable beds in city hospitals, all at no-cost to the patients. Every single patient irrespective of religious, economic or social background receives state-of-the-art medical care, with a difference! Unconditional love is the sole currency traded here. The absolutely free treatment includes — consultation, scans, X-rays, treatment and medication. Freedom from the burden of payment is a boon to many, while the mortality rate at Sai hospitals is among the lowest in the world. With several general hospitals and regular medical camps already running full swing, it was on His 65th birthday, on 23rd November, 1990, that Bhagavan Baba, declared that a tertiary care facility, offering free state-of-the-art healthcare would be set-up within a year, in Puttaparthi. True to His word, the Sri Sathya Sai Institute of Higher Medical Sciences, also known as the SSS Super Specialty Hospital was inaugurated on 22nd November, 1991. Ten years after its success, its sister facility at Whitefield, Bangalore, opened in January 2001, emphasising the message of love and selfless service as necessary potions for a true healthcare reform. Taking a cue from Baba’s magnanimity, private medical facilities in Chennai have been inspired
MEDICAL MARVEL The Sri Sathya Sai Institute of Higher Medical Sciences at Whitefield, Bangalore
The foyer of the Whitefield hospital. All Sathya Sai hospitals are known for their pleasant environment and high levels of hygiene
to do their bit. Today, the city runs a virtual network of hospital services under the Sri Sathya Sai Health Care Project (SSSHCP) since January 2007. Initially, sixty-three local medical institutions, offered a free bed, treatment and medication to the needy patients brought in by the Sai Organisation. The goodwill generated has evoked further philanthropy and the number of beds at the disposal of the SSSHCP has now crossed 90 and the programme’s popularity continues to grow among private hospitals. This unique
initiative involves no additional cost of construction, and is being expanded to other parts of the state beyond Chennai. In addition, the two well-equipped and wellstaffed general hospitals in Puttaparthi and Whitefield continue to serve thousands daily, as do the mobile medical hospital vans, the regular medical and veterinarian camps organised by the Sai Organisation under its SSS Village Integrated Program across rural India and worldwide.
Flood leaves behind a miracle
he beaming smiles on their faces betray nothing. They do not tell you of the tears shed over a year ago, as they saw their lives being washed away, or the anguish as they swam miles just to be alive. It is over a year since Orissa faced one of its worst floods from September 18 to 22 in 2008 that affected over 2.5 million people. At least 50 people were killed and 2,500 villages were inundated as incessant rains caused the Mahanadi River to swell and overflow into villages. The state recorded a loss of property of about Rs 2,500 crore, and BBC News called it the “worst flood in 50 years”. Yet, a cluster of 16 villages along the Mahanadi tells a different story — a story of victory over circumstances. Within four months of the calamity, the Sri Sathya Sai Seva Organisation — the non-profit service organisation run by Bhagavan Sri Sathya Sai Baba — built 699 homes in Orissa's worst affected regions. “Much before any NGO began the flood reconstruction, the Sathya Sai trust came forward to help the people of Orissa… The 699 houses were completed in record time and are of the best quality,” said Mr Ajit Kumar Tripathi, the then Orissa chief secretary, and currently Orissa Election Commissioner. The beneficiaries were selected after a survey based on loss incurred. The new colonies are self-sufficient and the houses have been designed to withstand future floods. “We had lost everything… Some people gave us food and other essentials. When we asked them who they were, they said Sai Baba has sent them. It was then that we heard about Sai Baba,” said Tara Jena, a farmer’s wife from Samsara, Kendrapada district. “The next day, they told us that we would get a new house. Only God can do such a thing for unfortunate people like us,” she said. "We lived in temporary thatched houses; even in our wildest of imaginations we could have never built such (concrete) houses,” said Sanchita Behera (45), who lives with her husband and four children in her new house in Pentho village, Kendrapada district.
The Sathya Sai Organisation built 699 houses in the flood-affected regions along the Mahanadi river in Orissa. Here is a district-wise break-up of the constructions:
Ocean of mercy: (Clockwise) A row of houses built by the Sai Organisation in Orissa; (Inset) A map of Orissa’s affected regions; Secretary of the Sri Sathya Sai Trust Mr. K Chakravarthi receives a memento from Orissa Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik; temporary huts in which the flood victims lived earlier
The Curse of Mahanadi
While most of us might have been sleeping in the comfort of our homes on the night of September 19, 2008, in an eastern corner of India, men, women and children struggled to keep themselves afloat. Floods are no stranger visitors to Orissa. However, the 2008 flood changed many lives forever. In a state where over 70 percent of the people depend on agriculture for livelihood, the flood mercilessly uprooted over 4 lakh hectares of
crop. The Indian Air Force helicopters dropped food packets, many of which were swept away by the waters, while the government helped to evacuate people from affected areas. However, compared to the extent of the disaster, the relief operations were far inadequate and mismanaged, district officials said.
An NGO with a Difference
Within a few hours of the flash floods, a band of 300 volunteers from the youth wing of the Sri Sathya Sai Seva Organisation of Orissa reached the spots with food,
medicines, clothes, temporary shelters, and hope. “When we heard of this, we were in a meeting in Bhubaneswar. Immediately, we packed the food cooked for the meeting and rushed on our motorbikes to the troubled areas… The water was seven-feet deep in most places and our youth swam through the tides with the packets,” said Narayan Sar, Joint Youth Coordinator of the Sai Organisation in Orissa. The state chapters of the panIndia Sai Organisation also sent aid worth Rs 1.5 crore to Orissa. In Puttaparthi, Baba announced that He would undertake the Orissa
Flood Relief and Rehabilitation Project. He allotted Rs 10 crore to build houses for the villagers by deciding to sell two of the Trust’s sprawling properties. On October 7, 2008, Baba further directed Mr V Srinivasan, President of the Sri Sathya Sai Seva Organisation of India, to announce: “These houses will be strong and sturdy concrete structures which would be permanent. Also, it would not only be homes, it would be supplemented with schools and other necessities.” Moved by the volunteers’ service, the villagers too offered their lands at lower prices.
By March 2009, the Organisation had built 699 houses on high plinths so that the foundation stands intact even in the event of erosion. It also built schools and health centres, now fully functional, within the colonies. In April, the beneficiaries received the keys to their houses from Baba in Puttaparthi. The organisation has now adopted these 16 villages under its Sri Sathya Sai Village Integrated Programme to ensure the villagers’ all-round well-being. While it may generally take years to undo a flood's aftermath,
these villages are a far cry from the sand-and-water wasteland they were 18 months ago. The new pinkand-yellow houses cannot escape anybody's attention, and only accentuate the cheer on the villagers' faces. Pushpalata Behera, a resident of Manibad village in Cuttack district, said they had seen death that day, but Baba had given them a second life, said. "The God who saved our lives gave us shelter too. In fact, from the day the devotees of Sai Baba placed their feet in my village, life changed.”
Sathya Sai healthcare:
Healing with love and compassion
TEMPLE OF HEALING The Sri Sathya Sai Institute of Higher Medical Sciences at Prashanthi Gram, Puttaparthi, Andhra Pradesh
(Clockwise from top left) The Sri Sathya Sai General Hospital in Whitefield; Services offered at the various hospitals run by Bhagavan Baba
The varied initiatives under the Sai Healthcare program have a common thread running through all of them — free, loving services with absolutely no strings attached. Well-known for professional efficiency, loving service and spotlessly clean environments, Sai hospitals are described as temples of healing by the patients treated here. Sunil Verma, a college student from Andhra Pradesh who almost lost a leg, was able to walk again, after an operation at the SSS Super Specialty Hospital says, “I never believed that I
would be able to walk again. But here I am on my two legs.” Sunil’s mother adds, “We did not have to spend a single paisa on his treatment in this hospital. We had completely given up hope. But Sai Baba works through the doctors here, who are living embodiments of His love. My son has got a new life.” Today, healthcare has emerged as a major challenge in many countries. The ongoing debate in the USA has clearly pitched healthcare reform as a contentious policy issue for Americans. Even for the economic superpower, the idea of a
free and universally accessible healthcare system for all citizens is unthinkable. Here in India, Bhagavan Baba is the only humanitarian to demonstrate a solution to this growing concern with His practical example of translating spirituality into social activism. Thanks to the gentle nudge from Mother Eswaramma 55 years ago, today, the saga of pure love continues to unfold every day in Sai Hospitals, serving as ideal models for the health concerns of a pluralistic society. Visit www.sssmt.org.in
The imposing entrance to the Super Specialty Hospital in Puttaparthi
Sai students have a sense of simplicity and humility about them. It could be mistaken for a lack of aggression or passion, but it is untrue. There is a sense of detachment; hence they do not feel the necessity to wear their hearts on the sleeve. They have a passion to work hard, and that is the training given by Swami.
STARS ON EARTH Students of the Sri Sathya Sai University present their athletic and gymnastic skills each year at the annual sports meet at Prashanti Nilayam. The Sathya Sai education model integrates universal human values in all aspects of learning.
Chairman and Managing Director, TVS Motors
Continued from Page 1
Education for life, the Sathya Sai way
the Sai academic schedule is complemented by an annual social service programme where both teachers and students visit villages, interact with the rural population, and distribute food, clothing and equipment for a livelihood. The joy experienced while serving the needy also impels students to continue similar philanthropic activities long after they graduate. The many community projects led by Sai alumni serving the underprivileged and backward sections of the society stand testimony to this. The outcome of integral education is best reflected in the positive character development that takes place in the students within a remarkably short period of time after they enter the University. Positive feedback from both their parents and employers is From KG to PG There are also cost-free CBSE affiliated schools from Grade I to XII for girls and boys in Prashanti Nilayam. The schools are recognised for their outstanding academic performance as also the all-round development of student personality. Their CBSE Grade XII results making headline news has now become a routine feat. Global footprint Apart from the schools and colleges across India, the Sai Organisation also conducts Sathya Sai Education programmes through its education wing. Weekend classes are conducted to inculcate an awareness of the five human values in children. SSE or Bal Vikas, which is a secular programme equally respectful of all faiths, is character-based and helps
With its motto “The End of Education is Character”, the emphasis on integrated personality development remains the constant aim of Sai education. The pedagogy of value-based education or educare helps elicit the human values immanent in every student through all aspects of learning. The philosophy of Educare is predicated on the principle that every single person is an embodiment of virtue. The role of the educator is to help bring out the latent goodness in each child. As a result, the students here embark on a lifelong learning and transformation process, not limited to acquiring a degree. As its founder, Baba is committed to bringing the charter for compassion, civic responsibility and community service to the centre of student life. Hence
The Institute breathes an air of inner calm which is altogether unique. Every teacher and student, every administrator and worker here seems to know intuitively that this Institute of Higher Learning is also a venue of Higher Behaviour and a seat of Higher Understanding.
Late Mr. R. Venkataraman, former President of India, while addressing the Ninth
Convocation of the University in 1990
never in short supply. In this age of corporate frauds marked by the insatiable hunger for money, reputed corporate firms are making a silent beeline to recruit Sai students given their deep roots in values and ethics.
instill in children the timeless and universal lessons such as respect and reverence for elders, Nature and for the rights of others. In many instances, these SSE classes cater to students who are considered poorly motivated, urging them to put forth their best effort in school. Community outreach through the SSE programme over five decades by volunteers of the Sai Organisation has consistently produced positive results in selfesteem and student achievement in academics, extracurricular and
importantly character building. Though originated in India, the courses have adapted themselves well to suit local and cultural aspirations as well as jurisdictional requirements of respective countries. The overall impact has been overtly positive and far-reaching, receiving high acclaims from national leaders, educational authorities and independent evaluators. There are over 99 Sathya Sai Schools in India and 41 Sathya Sai Schools overseas. These schools either provide free education, or charge a small fee. Institutes of
Sathya Sai Education have been set up in Mumbai, Bangkok, Argentina and the UK among other places, for training teachers from public, private and Sai schools in values education. The appeal of the programme is evident in the enthusiasm with which educators and policy makers around the world are embracing it, rendering it a prototype worthy of emulation as an effective and viable solution for today’s crisis in education.
Visit: www.sssu.edu.in, www.ssshss.org.in, www.sathyasaieducation.org
Sri Sathya Sai Institutions inculcate value-based education right from a young age. From my interactions, it is clear that the teaching staff here have internalised the values articulated by Sri Sathya Sai Baba, into their way of teaching and guiding youngsters under the Sai umbrella. Clearly this has lot of lessons for corporate India. K V KAMATH,
Non-Executive Chairman, ICICI Bank
‘My Life is My Message’
Continued from Page 1
Love all, Serve all:Baba
he Sri Sathya Sai Organisation was launched in 1967 by Bhagavan Baba as a vehicle to enable His followers to serve the society. Baba has always postulated that service to man is service to God or Manava Seva is the means to Madhava Seva — an essential step towards spiritual progress. He further says, “You are not serving any other person; you are really serving yourself, for the same Atma resides in both of you… The service you do is not important; what is important is what this service does to you”. He guides that all service must be rendered with selfless love which is the underlying thread in all activities of the Sai Organisation. The Sathya Sai Organisation is not a religious one; it is a spiritual and service organisation. It respects all religions and believes that all of them show the path to the one God. Today, the Sathya Sai Organisation is active in 23 states of India and in 185 countries abroad. In India, there are 2,500 Sai samithis, 5,700 bhajan mandalis, 16,000 Bal Vikas centres, and a Seva Dal Wing with 1.3 lakh volunteers (70,000 men and 60,000 women). There is also a Youth Wing with about 75,000 members. In India, the Organisation has over 6 lakh active members and has also adopted 2,100 villages all over India. The Organisation has three wings, Spiritual, Educational and Service. It is headed by an All India President who is assisted by a State President in each state. The basic unit is the Sai Samithi. The members of the Organisation engage in totally voluntary activity. Just like other Sai Institutions, it makes no appeal for funds from the public. The Spiritual Wing conducts study circles, spiritual retreats and bhajan groups where the Names of the Divine from all religions are sung. It also brings out spiritual literature. The Educational Wing focuses on the SSE or Bal Vikas programme, which is a non-formal system of human values education for children in the age group of 5-13 years. It propagates awareness of Indian culture and spirituality, develops character, love for all creation and respect for parents. The human values of Sathya, Dharma, Shanthi, Prema and Ahimsa, which are intrinsic in every individual, are cultivated and the child is taught to lead a value-based life. Today over
There should not be any trace of dislike or distrust on the score of nationality, language, caste, economic status, scholarship, age or gender. What is the unmistakable mark of a wise person? It is Love, Love for all humanity. Money comes and goes, morality comes and grows. Do not use poisonous words against anyone, for words wound more fatally than even arrows. What you would desire others to do for you, you should do for others. You should respect others, as you want to be respected by them.
His life and message are so potent that men and women of the highest academic calibre and from diverse ethnic backgrounds look up to Him as their guide to make a shift in priorities, as do the poorest and the unlettered of the nation and everyone else in between. His boundless love, international reach and unprecedented achievements compel many to question who He really is. “I am God and so are you. The only difference between you and Me is that while I am aware of it, you are not.” This is the answer Bhagavan Baba gives to people who query Him about His identity. This fundamental truth of every person’s inherent divine nature is at the heart of His mission. Indeed, in His discourses to devotees, He addresses them as “Embodiments of the Divine Atma (the eternal Spirit)”. Elucidating on His mission, He declares, “I have come not to disturb or destroy any faith, but to confirm each in his own faith, so that the Christian becomes a better Christian, the Muslim a better Muslim and the Hindu a better Hindu.” In His own words, “This Sai has come in order to achieve the supreme task of uniting the entire mankind as one family through the bond of brotherhood, of affirming and illuminating the cosmic reality of each being, to reveal the Divine as the basis on which the entire cosmos rests, and of instructing all to recognise the common Divine heritage that binds person to person, so that humans can rise up to the Divine, which is the goal.” His formula for leading a meaningful life is the five-fold path of Truth, Righteousness, Peace, Love and NonViolence. Love for God, fear of wrongdoing and morality in society are His prescriptions for healing our world. An inexhaustible reservoir of pure love, His numerous service projects stand testimony to His compassion. True to His declaration, ‘My Life is My Message’, He prescribes seeking salvation through selfless service, for He says “Service to Man is Service to God”. Today, the Sai Organisation undertakes group service activities across the country and the world to benefit local communities. In the current environment of greed, corruption, violence and terrorism, millions look up to Baba as their role model for living a purpose-driven life — a life of harmony with oneself, every being and especially Mother Earth. His message is the spiritual salve that can rescue humanity from self-annihilation. Pure Love personified, very rarely does such a presence grace our planet and lead us by example towards expressing and achieving our innate sacredness.
Visit: www.radiosai.org, www.sssbpt.org
I was touched by the devotion and the tender loving care I got from the student volunteers and alumni during the ethics conference. That perhaps is the single take-away I will always cherish — the simplicity and the humility, the virtues that Sri Sathya Sai Baba has imbued in all his students. USHA NARAYANAN,
Executive Director, SEBI
Almost 10 percent of our workforce comprises of students from the Sri Sathya Sai University. They can hit the ground running and are able to do various roles, straddle different responsibilities without too much induction or training. The ease with which they adapt to the office environment and culture is absolutely remarkable. NT ARUN KUMAR,
CEO and Director, D&B TransUnion ADC
ACTS OF DEDICATION: The activities of the Sai Organisation are chanelled through its spiritual, educational and service wings
3.5 lakh children all over India go through the Sathya Sai Bal Vikas programme for nine years. They evolve into mature and balanced adults, becoming the change agents for society by their own example. Bal Vikas classes are also conducted in schools that desire this programme. Currently, the Organisation is involved in training over 3,000 teachers of the Chennai Corporation. The Service Wing called the Sai Seva Dal, are actively engaged in multifarious community service projects, both in urban and rural areas. The Seva Dal consists of volunteers from all strata of society: government servants, bank officers, businessmen, traders, professionals like chartered accountants and lawyers, doctors, students, farmers, etc. They do voluntary work on their own time and cost. When such individuals don the Seva Dal scarf, they completely submerge their individual identities; we have bank general managers and district collectors and magistrates, and even a minister, who are Seva Dals. The Sai Seva Dals are specially trained in disaster management. They have rendered selfless service under arduous conditions during the Gujarat earthquake, Tsunami in Tamil Nadu, floods in Orissa, Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka, to mention just a few. Apart from this, they regularly work during festivals like the Ganga Sagar Mela in Bengal performing sanitation work, the Pushkaram festivals of Krishna and Godavari rivers, etc. Grama Seva is a very important activity for the Seva Dal. This has been further developed into a flagship programme called the Sri Sathya Sai Village Integrated Programme. This provides holistic service to selected villages and is structured upwards from every family to the needs of the whole village. It focuses on Sociocare, Medicare and Healthcare, Agricare, Educare, Sanitary care, Infrastructure care, and most importantly Spiritual care. Of the 2,100 villages where the Organisation is working, over 1,000 are in the SSSVIP category. The Organisation often uses technology to improve the efficiency of its Seva. Some examples are the technology group, water purification, organic agriculture, low-cost toilets, micro power supply systems, multi media studios, telemedicine centres, etc. The Organisation is disciplined and devoted, fully committed to the teachings of Bhagavan Baba.
The value-based system of learning, which is being taught to the students of Sri Sathya Sai University, is what we all are learning in the corporate life today. I think that is one of the biggest fortunes of Sathya Sai students. A BALASUBRAMANIAN,
Chief Executive Officer, Birla Sun Life Mutual Fund
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